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FGCU’s 26th Student Body President and Vice President Retire

Jessica Piland

From April 1, 2023, to April 1, 2024, senior Emory Cavin served as FGCU’s 26th Student Body President. 

From serving on the committee to select President Aysegul Timur, to serving as the voice of students on FGCU’s Board of Trustees, Cavin did it all. 

 “I was so excited to hit the ground running,” he said. “I felt a lot of excitement when I first took office, because in the time that I had been running for office I had met so many very passionate and engaged people and had a lot of discussions about the kinds of things that we wanted to get done.”  

 But before Cavin started office, he sought out the advice of former Student Body President Grace Brannigan. 

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 “Grace and I met multiple times in the evening over pizza, and she spent hours during each meeting going over how the university works and who the key people are. She gave me a lot of advice in general and about how to conduct myself and how to approach situations,” Cavin said. 

 During his first months as president, he had to vote on the selection of FGCU’s next university president. But first, Cavin had to face a unique challenge in Student Government history when Vice President-Elect Minya McNair stepped back from the role after winning the election on the same ticket as Cavin. 

 Following a series of interviews, Cavin selected Dayton Buxton as his vice president, and after she was confirmed by a Senate vote, she became his vice president.  

 “We have very different leadership styles, and ways that we go about things, but I thought that it worked well, because if he has a big idea, I have the logistics side of it,” Buxton said. “I would look at it from the perspective of ‘how do we make this happen, how do we bridge the gap between the idea and the execution?’ and I thought that we’ve built on each other in that capacity pretty well.” 

 Cavin’s time in office had a unique focus on outreach. From doing listening tours with RSOs like the Latin American Student Organization and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, to doing giveaways to students using the Student Government golf carts, Cavin’s administration had a constant focus on reaching out to students and increasing awareness of Student Government.  

 “I also like to think that we shifted the culture of Student Government and showed people that you know, it’s okay to have fun,” Cavin said. “It’s okay that it is an institution that is accessible to any student, not just one particular type of student.” 

 Another aspect of Cavin’s time as president that he was proud of was his advocacy for the student body. 

 As Student Body President, Cavin led the student delegation for FGCU Day, where Student Government represented and advocated for FGCU at the State Capitol. Cavin also advocated for the student body as the only student voice on the FGCU Board of Trustees. 

 “I think that being a student in that space was a difficult but ultimately fulfilling responsibility. There were several times when the thing that I was advocating for was counter to what the rest of the Board (of Trustees) thought was important or the best way forward,” Cavin said. 

 While he has not decided on what he wants to do post-graduation, he has been looking at a variety of options. He is interested in working for a state or federal legislator, working as a government relations specialist for a nonprofit or running for an office.  Cavin wants to keep serving the community in his life. 

 “What I know is that I want a career where I have a positive impact on the people around me and my community. And since that’s what is most important to me, that is really my north star,” he said. 

Buxton worked this year, after coming into the role later than Cavin since she was chosen later in the summer for her role as vice president, to serve not only student government but the whole FGCU student body. She represented students on the FGCU Faculty Senate Committee and worked daily with SG Chairs and committee leaders to ensure that the inner-workings of SG ran smoothly. 

“It was such an amazing experience for me as a student here to learn some intricacies of higher education but also just grow as an individual and learn so much about myself too. And how to be a leader and a servant leader and work with my peers in that capacity too,” she said.

Cavin worked hard this year to accurately represent the FGCU student body on many different teams and committees. His passion for the role came from his love for FGCU and the students there.

“I think that the only other thing I’d say is that I truly love FGCU. And I am so honored that I had the opportunity for one very short year to be a voice for students to get to know this institution in ways that I never truly understood it before. And to meet so many amazing, inspiring people who I’ll always remember and hopefully keep in touch with and think about as I continue my own personal journey wherever that takes me,” he said

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About the Contributors
Connor Hay
Connor Hay, Business Manager
Connor Hay is a sophomore majoring in accounting. Born and raised in Clearwater, Florida, his first experience working with media was with his high school yearbook. Hay has been involved with Eagle Media since his freshman year. When he is not working in the newsroom, he is watching Formula 1, listening to indie music, or playing pickleball.
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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